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Virtual Culture


By Amanda Sheppard


The world’s leading museums, galleries and theatres may have temporarily closed their doors in the days of social distancing, but art lovers need not panic. From live performances to prized artworks at one-off exhibitions, enjoy these virtual art experiences by world-class institutions, all available to explore from the comfort of your home. 


1. From Stage to Screen

One of London’s most popular public arts theatres, National Theatre, is hosting live performances on its YouTube channel. Through the National Theatre at Home initiative, past performances are uploaded every Thursday and are free to stream for one week; be captivated by the Tony Award-winning comedy One Man, Two Guvnors starring the beloved comedian James Corden and relive the enduring appeal of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. With front row seats to sold-out shows, swap a creaky theatre chair for your cosy sofa, the queue for refreshments at intermission for your kitchen cabinet’s finest confections and sit back and enjoy the world’s biggest productions from Broadway and the West End. 


2. A Part to Play

Hong Kong’s City Contemporary Dance Company has launched an Online Artist in Residence Programme, featuring a total of 34 artists from different sectors and countries. There, find camaraderie and support from artists from different mediums, brought together in shared exploration of new possibilities to further the relationship between artist and audience in this difficult time. The results of the collaboration will be shared during a live webinar at the end of the programme.


3. Get Ready for Your Close Up

London’s leading contemporary arts gallery Tate Modern boasts a diverse exhibition calendar that celebrates the best artists of our times. And now, art enthusiasts can enjoy Tate Modern’s immersive exhibition experiences at home. Proving itself to be a champion of innovation, the gallery has introduced a guided tour of Andy Warhol at Tate  accompanied by narrative that presents the collection highlights in detail, and deconstruct the man behind the iconic imagery. A guided tour of the Aubrey Beardsley exhibition is also “on show” on Tate’s YouTube channel, showcasing the largest exhibition of the charismatic illustrator’s sinuous black and white work in 50 years. This is Beardsley’s first dedicated exhibition at Tate since the 1920s.


4. The World’s a (Digital) Stage

London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre may have temporarily closed its doors, but rather than accept curtain call, it’s encouraging avid dance enthusiasts like you to craft your own routines. Accompanying its live performance recordings are a range of dance workshops on the Sadler’s Wells Digital Stage. The complimentary workshops are available on Sadler Wells’ YouTube channel and are tailored to suit all ages, including families and older audiences, and levels of expertise.


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